Health and Wellness Kids/Babies

BrushyBall stays a head by teaching kids how to brush teeth

Getting kids to brush their teeth is another one of those parental challenges, and it’s one that has the potential to make for some very long nights.

In order to motivate kids to brush their teeth and take the mundane routine out of it, BrushyBall  was created. As noted in Episode 6 of the Backerjack podcast, the battery-operated personal tooth brushing coach for kids has teeth that light up in a specific sequence of six sections. The toothbrush training toy, designed by a dentist, teaches kids by having them follow along with the flashing lights. Music and verbal cues are a part of the thorough process that lasts for about two minutes.

The plastic Muppet-like head isn’t too intimidating, and the developer would ideally like to license well-known characters to keep kids more engaged, but it seems to take up a fair amount of countertop space. Backers looking for a way to encourage kids to floss might want to check out Gummy Floss. This campaign seeks to raise 50,000 by April 5, 2015. For $20, backers get one product with an expected delivery of April 2015.

Health and Wellness

Garppy offers the scoop on rinsing after you brush your teeth

Getting kids to brush their teeth is one of life’s bigger challenges. They find the activity tedious, boring, and then there’s the extra precious few seconds it takes to actually rinse.

For those who have gotten bored with using a traditional cup, Garppy offers an alternative. The scoop-like gadget attaches to a tooth brush so that a cup doesn’t have to be used, creating something new and different for a week or so. The scoop and strap are made of food-grade silicone and are touted as packing and traveling well, especially for those long flights when one wants to be able to brush one’s teeth on the plane.

While this new thing might keep the kids engaged in brushing their teeth at home for a short time, adults looking for some quick convenience would be just as well off to use paper cups. This campaign seeks to raise $1,600 by February 28, 2015. Early bird backers get one product for $2 with an expected delivery of March 2015.

Food and Beverage Health and Wellness

Drink E-Z helps patients, sucks lazy into sedentary Wall-E future

The Premise. Whether it’s as a result of oral surgery, injury or old age, many people have trouble making use of the common straw as a beverage delivery system. Also, some people are thirsty and want to exert as little effort as possible to fix that problem.

The Product. Drink E-Z reinvents something as simple as the drinking straw in a way to make the process easier for those who need help drinking or need to avoid creating suction in the mouth. Made up of four interlocking parts and operated by three AA batteries, the Drink E-Z looks like your standard to-go cup aside from the tantalizing red button at the cup’s base. This button activates a food-grade micro pump that propels your drink up through the straw and brings it right to your lips. The whole thing tears down just as easily for cleaning and works with all but the thickest of drinks. (We’re looking at you, Shamrock Shake.)

The Pitch. Inventor Damjan Madjar introduces the Drink E-Z and its uses, how it improves the lives of the infirm, and explains the simple but effective design. A second video, featuring a dentist, gives an endorsement for the Drink E-Z and how it can help reduce infections in post-operative patients. The campaign is looking for $65,000 to finalize the design and make the injection molds. Looking past the campaign, the team already has a placeholder domain registered and a Facebook group for fans to get updates.

The Perks. $35 will get you your very own Drink E-Z (batteries included) when it launches in June 2014. Higher-tier perks increase the quantity of cups for each order. By simple multiplication, the $350 tier is worth 10 Drink E-Z cups. However, this tier also gives backers the chance to brand the cups with a company logo. La-Z-Boy might be a good one. The highest $850 tier gives retailers a pack of 50 to sell on their store shelves.

The Potential. The market for a self-sucking straw seems fairly specialized among those who truly need it and the inspiringly lazy. It’s not outside the realm of possibility to expect dentists and oral surgeons to recommend these to patients and they could very well be found in your local pharmacy after launch. This does appear to be a truly unique idea, but despite what the campaign and its videos suggest, it seems a little far-fetched to expect to see someone lounging on the beach enjoying a drink at the press of a button when the straw is already in their mouth.